Beethoven: Symphony No 3 in E flat major, Op 55 (Eroica); Overture – Fidelio, Op 72

Reviewed on Mon 10 Apr, 2017

Though neither playing nor conducting can be faulted, Vladimir Jurowski’s approach is strangely objective. He detaches himself from a maelstrom that changed the course of music, the Funeral March in particular somewhat shorn of its immensity.

From his day to today, debates rage over Beethoven’s metronome markings which he saw as “a welcome means of assuring the performances of my compositions everywhere in the tempi conceived by me, which to my regret have so often been misunderstood”. For the most part, Vladimir Jurowski does not misunderstand, speeds being pretty close to requirements in the first and third movements of the Eroica, and spot on in the second. Though neither playing nor conducting can be faulted, Jurowski’s approach is strangely objective. He detaches himself from a maelstrom that changed the course of music, the Funeral March in particular somewhat shorn of its immensity. And in a finale that is slower than expected, Jurowski fails to convey its humour tied to propulsive power, both supremely present in Jordi Savall’s interpretation (Alia Vox). Yet none of these strictures apply to the Overture, so wholeheartedly is Jurowski immersed in its spirit.
–Nalen Anthoni